8 min read

Cash app scams: How to stay safe and what to do if they happen to you

Cristina POPOV

May 14, 2024

Promo Protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 30-day trial
Cash app scams: How to stay safe and what to do if they happen to you

Cash App is a mobile payment app that allows people in the United States and the United Kingdom to send money to other app users. It also offers features for investing in stocks, trading Bitcoin, and paying for goods and services at participating retailers.

Unlike a bank account, money sent via Cash App (or other similar apps like Zelle and Venmo) is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This means that users do not have access to any buyer protection programs.

If you accidentally send money to a scammer or get tricked into giving up access to your Cash App account, it's like losing a wallet full of cash.

Three facts about Cash App:

  • Cash App made $14.3 billion revenue in 2023, a 34.9% increase from the previous year
  • The app had a gross profit of $4.32 billion
  • Cash App had 55 million monthly active users in 2023

Source: businessofapps.com

Here are the most common Cash App scams that you should be aware of:

1.      Cash App customers support impersonation. Cash App scammers often try to trick users by pretending to be Cash App support or other employees. They might contact you via direct message or phone, using fake websites and phone numbers to make it seem like they're the real deal. Scammers often use tactics like phishing to obtain passwords or gain remote access to devices.

Related: How To Spot and Avoid Tech Support Scams

2.      Phishing emails. Phishing scammers often send legitimate-looking emails to trick you into verifying your login credentials or clicking on a malicious link that steals your information.

It's important to note that real emails from the Cash App team will never ask users to provide login or personal in their messages. Scammers may also send you fraudulent emails or text messages pretending to be from Cash App. They may claim that you have a payment waiting for you in your account, but if you click on the link provided, it will take you to a fake login page that looks like the real one. If you enter your username and password, the scammers will steal your login information.

Related: How to Spot and Report Email Scams

3.      "Cash flipping" scams. Also known as money circle scams, these scams are a cybercrime version of real-world pyramid schemes. These schemes may claim to double or quadruple your money by investing it in the stock market through a friend or professional contact. But just like pyramid schemes, they are designed to deceive people and steal their money. Cash App users can be targeted directly on Cash App,  social media platforms, or  SMS. Scammers also post details of these money-making schemes on social media and wait for interested people to take the bait. They then ask them to send money through the Cash App.

4.      Accidental transfers. Scammers may send you a payment "by accident" and ask you to return the payment amount to them. They might deposit a large amount of money to give you a false sense of security. However, the original payment they sent you was likely made using a stolen credit card. Once the credit card owner files a chargeback complaint, the amount will be taken out of your account.

5.      "Claim your prize" scam. These messages may ask you to send money before receiving the prize. Please note that the Cash App does not require users to pay for contests or promotions.

6.      Selling expensive or hard-to-find items. Fraudsters often use Cash App to sell expensive items online, knowing the platform doesn't offer buyer protection. They open fake business accounts and attempt to sell expensive or hard-to-find items, such as concert tickets or rare collectibles, at a great "deal." Once you pay, they may stop responding, leaving you without the item or any way to get your money back.

7.      Fake Cash App payment notifications and screenshots. Cash App scammers often contact people selling items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or similar platforms. They'll ask for payment via Cash App and then send fake emails and screenshots saying the money has been transferred. When you check your account, there will be no money in it, and if you confront the scammer, they'll accuse you of trying to scam them.

8.      Fake bank fraud alerts that lead to Cash App scams. Fraudulent individuals pose as representatives from your bank and claim that your account has been compromised. They may persuade you to transfer your funds to a so-called "secure" account using Cash App. However, if you comply and send the money, it will go directly to the scammers.

9.      Cryptocurrency schemes. Cryptocurrency is often the target of Cash App scams due to its anonymous nature and difficulty in recovering funds. Scammers will contact you, claiming they can offer huge returns if you invest a small amount of cryptocurrency. However, you will never actually receive any returns. In addition, crypto scammers may hack into social media accounts and launch Cash App scams to the account's friend list, hoping to make a profit before anyone notices.

10.  Fake refunds. If you're selling something on an online marketplace, be wary of scammers who may reach out to you claiming that they're interested in your item and will make the payment via Cash App. However, in reality, you won't receive any money from them, and they may even claim that they've sent payment multiple times. Moreover, they will demand a refund of your own money for an item that they never actually paid for in the first place.

Related: Don't Get Scammed! Facebook Marketplace scams you should avoid

11. CashAppFridays. Scammers are taking advantage of Cash App's real cash giveaway promotions like #CashAppFridays run on Twitter and Instagram. They use the hashtag to reach out to users, claiming they have won the giveaway. They will then ask for payment or login information to claim the prize.

Related: 5 Instagram scams exposed. How to protect yourself

12. Cash App cryptocurrency and Bitcoin scams. Fraudsters post fake testimonials on social media to entice unsuspecting victims, showing how people supposedly earned huge returns from their crypto investments. If you happen to respond to these messages, the scammers will ask you to transfer funds or Bitcoin via Cash App to "fund" your account. Be extra cautious and always verify the authenticity of any investment opportunity before sending any money.

13. Receiving fake Cash App debit cards in the mail. Scammers mail unsolicited Cash App debit cards with instructions to download the app and scan a QR code to set it up. This is a way for them to gain access to your sensitive information, such as your name, SSN, and address. Once they have your information, they will open a Cash App account in your name and use the login information to transfer funds to themselves once you fund the account.

How to avoid Cash App scams:

1. Only send payments to people you know and trust. Cash App is good for small transactions, but larger ones can be risky, especially with unfamiliar parties. Always double-check details, like business names, to avoid falling for tricks.

2. Keep your personal information private. Scammers can use even small details from your public profiles to trick you with fake emails or messages. Never share your Cash App PIN or other account info online, even if it seems legit.

3. Regularly check your bank statements. Watch your bank and Cash App transactions for suspicious activity. Also, check your credit report for signs of identity theft.

4. Avoid clicking on suspicious links. Scammers often use fake websites or malware to steal data. Clicking on these links can lead to financial loss or damage to your device.

5. Use strong, unique passwords. Using the same password for multiple accounts puts you at risk of scams. Create strong passwords and avoid using them for multiple accounts to prevent scammers from accessing your information.

6. Enable two-factor authentication. Cash App offers this feature to help protect your account from unauthorized access.

7. Turn on transaction notifications. Stay informed about activity on your Cash App account by enabling notifications. This way, you'll be alerted immediately if someone tries to access your funds without your knowledge.

8. Check suspicious messages with Scamio.

Scamio is an AI-powered tool dedicated to helping you identify and avoid potential scams. When you are unsure about an account, offer or message you can check it with Scamio on on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or web browser. It’s free and easy to use. Simply copy/ paste a text or link, provide a description of the situation, upload an image or QR code. Scamio will analyze the data and tell you if anyone is trying to scam you.

Once Scamio confirms it is a scam, you should block and report the account.

What to do if scammed

Here's what to do if you've been scammed:

Contact your bank immediately and inform them about the fraud. They might advise you to close your current bank account to prevent further fraud and help you set up a new one. You can also dispute the fraudulent transaction with your bank if your Cash App account is linked to a debit or credit card.

Report the scam to Cash App. Open the Cash App, go to your profile icon, then select "Support" and "Report a Payment Issue." Choose the fraudulent payment and follow the instructions to report it.

Block the scammer's Cash App account. Go to the scammer's profile, scroll down, and tap "Report" or "Block" to prevent further communication or transactions.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC tracks and investigates scams. If you've lost money or shared sensitive information like your name, address, credit card number, or Social Security number, report it to the FTC.

Consider freezing your credit. Consider freezing your credit if scammers have accessed your Cash App account and gained access to sensitive financial information. They could use it for identity theft or fraud. A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Contact each of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to request a credit freeze. Keep in mind that cybercriminals may not use your data immediately. To monitor your data in the long run, use Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection. This service notifies you instantly when your personal information shows up in places it shouldn’t be, such as the Dark Web.


What to do if a random person sends me money on Cash App?

Firstly, do not send any money back to them. It could be a scam, and sending money could make you a victim. Instead, contact Cash App support to report the situation and seek guidance on what steps to take next. Additionally, monitor your account closely for any unauthorized transactions and consider changing your Cash App PIN for added security.

What to do if I send money to the wrong person on Cash App?

Immediately reach out to the recipient and politely request a refund. If they agree, they can initiate a refund directly through Cash App. However, if the recipient refuses or you're unable to contact them, contact Cash App support for assistance. They may be able to help resolve the situation and recover the funds, although it's not guaranteed.

Will Cash App refund money if I'm scammed?

Cash App does not offer buyer protection or refunds for transactions gone wrong. Cash App may not refund your money if you fall victim to a scam, such as sending money to a fraudulent seller or being tricked into providing personal information.

However, report the scam to Cash App support immediately so they can investigate the incident and provide guidance on the next steps. Additionally, consider reaching out to your bank or credit card company for further assistance and to explore any available recourse options.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

View all posts

You might also like